Pea Protein Vs. whey protein: which is better? – Fastest way to lose 20 pounds

Protein powders are one of the most popular supplements.

Manufacturers produce protein powder from many different animal and plant sources.

Whey protein is one of the most popular types. It is a protein isolated from cow’s milk, so it is of animal origin.

However, pea protein and other plant protein powders are steadily gaining popularity.

This article compares pea and whey protein powders and offers some tips to determine which one might be best for you.

Manufacturers make protein powder by extracting protein from whole foods and then concentrating and preparing it in powder form.

Depending on the specific type of supplement, manufacturers use a variety of techniques to isolate the desired protein. These may include the addition of enzymes and acid and the use of additional filtration processes.

The source of the protein used for pea and whey protein powders is one of the biggest differences between the two.

Whey protein is isolated from whey, a dairy by-product left over from the cheese-making process. Because it comes from milk, most whey protein powder contains milk lactose sugar.

Pea protein is herbal and lactose free. It is isolated from legumes – especially yellow peas.

The following are some of the most notable differences between pea and whey protein powders.


While many types of whey protein contain allergens such as lactose and gluten, most types of pea protein do not contain all the most common allergens.

This could make peas and other herbal protein powders a desirable choice for people with food allergies or those on a dairy-free or gluten-free diet.

People with allergies or intolerances to gluten and dairy may find that pea protein powder is easier to digest. They may feel less gassy or swollen when used instead of whey protein.


Pea and whey protein powders are not completely different from each other. They share some similarities.

For starters this is a great source of protein.

Neither has a remarkable taste or texture, but both are incredibly versatile and easy to mix with other foods and beverages.

People often consume them simply by mixing the powder in a shake using a liquid such as water or milk.

You can also add them to smoothies, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes and many other foods and beverages.


Whey protein comes from milk and is a by-product of cheese making, while pea protein comes from ground yellow peas. Both are excellent sources of protein that you can easily add to different foods and drinks.

Below are the average nutritional profiles for 1 ounce (30 grams) cups of pea and whey protein powder (1, 2).

Pea and whey protein powders are both rich sources of protein, although whey powder tends to have a slightly higher amount.

Both are also relatively low in carbohydrates, fats, fiber and sugar.

Because it is made from milk, whey protein has more calcium and potassium. On the other hand, pea protein has more iron. Legumes, including peas, are an excellent source of nutrients.

Moreover, studies have found that some of the components of both peas and whey may have beneficial properties. These plant compounds can have a variety of health benefits, such as acting as antioxidants and fighting disease (3, 4, 5, 6).

How many compounds remain in processed protein powders and how they affect human health remains unclear.

Protein content

Peas and whey contain similar amounts of protein. Both are great sources of this. However, whey protein powder tends to contain a few grams more protein per serving than pea powder (7).

That being said, the exact protein content varies between brands and depends on the amount or size of portion that the brand suggests.

This information is listed on the nutrition label of each supplement.

Although peas and whey are both high in protein, the types of protein they contain may differ.

In general, animal sources of protein, such as whey, are easier for the body to absorb and use in muscle development (8).

How well and how quickly the body digests and uses protein has a lot to do with the specific amino acids it contains.


Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Nine of the amino acids the body needs are called essential. This means that the body cannot produce them on its own and instead has to eat them in your diet.

Whey protein powder is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Contains particularly high amounts of branched chain (BCAA) essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine (7, 8).

In terms of essential amino acids, whey is one of the best sources of protein.

Pea protein also contains all the essential amino acids. However, it contains only very small amounts of methionine, one of the nine essentials (7, 8).

Thus, some pea protein powders may not meet the definition of a complete protein.

However, compared to other sources of herbal protein, pea protein is a good source of essential amino acids. In fact, it contains even more essential amino acids, such as histidine and phenylalanine, than whey protein per serving (7, 8, 9).

If you’re worried that you’re not getting all the essential amino acids you need from pea protein, one option is to mix pea protein powder with other types of plant-based proteins that also contain the nine essential.


Most pea and whey protein powders provide more than 20 grams of protein per serving, but with different levels of essential amino acids. Whey protein contains more cholesterol, calcium and potassium. Pea protein has more fiber and iron.

People use protein powders for several reasons.

Some of the most popular reasons are building strength, repairing tissues and maintaining muscle reserves in the body.

People also use them as meal replacements to increase protein intake and even to help with weight loss.

Effectiveness for muscle growth

Protein powders have the greatest effect on muscle growth in people whose diets are low in protein.

On the other hand, people whose diets already contain enough protein may not notice significant changes (10, 11, 12, 13).

When it comes to what type of protein powder is best for muscle development, it may seem that whey is superior to peas due to its amino acid content.

However, several research studies over the last few years have found that pea and whey protein powders tend to have similar results in muscle thickness and recovery when people use them after high-intensity and endurance exercise (14, 15, 16, 17).

Effectiveness for weight loss

A small study in men found that protein supplements in peas and whey have similar effects on appetite and food intake. There were few notable differences between animal and vegetable protein sources (18, 19, 20).

In fact, some studies have even found that whey protein powders have little effect on weight loss (21, 22).

Some older studies have found evidence to suggest that pea protein may have a greater effect on appetite and satiety than whey protein. Both of these factors could theoretically affect weight loss (2. 3, 24).

However, other studies have shown that pea protein supplements have no significant effect on appetite (25, 26).

A potential reason why pea protein may help people feel fuller for longer may be the higher fiber content.

Thus, scientists need to do more research to fully understand exactly how pea and whey protein powders affect specific things, such as muscle growth and weight loss.


For muscle growth, protein powders are most effective in people whose diets are currently low in protein. Scientists need to do more research on the use of protein powder for weight loss.

Although studies have not shown that pea protein is significantly better than whey protein for muscle growth or weight loss, it may have other benefits for certain groups of people.

For example, pea protein powder is a good choice for people on a vegan diet, while whey protein powder is not.

Some people also believe that pea protein is more sustainable than whey protein, as growing peas tends to have a much smaller impact on the environment than raising cattle.

However, pea protein powders are not as common as whey powders and may be harder to find in some stores.

In addition, some brands of organic pea protein powder may be more expensive than whey powder.

As with all nutritional supplements, pea and whey protein products can vary greatly between brands and types. Always look for high quality products that limit the number of additives.


For vegans, people with allergies or those focused on choosing a more sustainable product, pea protein powder may be best. For people who want an affordable and reliable option, whey protein may work better.

Pea and whey protein powders are useful supplements for people whose diet is low in protein or for those with exceptionally high protein needs.

Each type of protein powder provides good amounts of protein and a variety of essential amino acids.

If you’re trying to choose between pea and whey protein powder, the key points you may want to consider include budget, dietary restrictions, and personal preferences.

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